Manus governor threatens detainee relocation plan

11:50 am on 27 October 2017

The governor of Papua New Guinea's Manus province has threatened to halt construction of a facility intended to house Manus Island detainees.

The Manus Island detention centre.

The Manus Island detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

At the end of the month, 600 refugees and asylum seekers detained by Australia are due to move from the island's detention centre to three buildings in nearby Lorengau town.

The governor Charlie Benjamin told the Post Courier that construction of one of them would be stopped unless Australia revealed long term plans for the province.

He said using Manus to detain refugees has damaged its reputation and compensation should be provided in the form of infrastructure development like a hospital.

The governor says Australia began to develop the building in question without consultation and its construction could be stopped unless a support package for the province is announced.

He said without this it may not be possible for asylum seekers to leave the detention centre next week.

Last week, a Manus Island community leader complained many locals providing support services would lose their jobs when the detention centre was closed.

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